Indianapolis Colts

Colts’ Darius Leonard will miss start of camp after back surgery

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Darius Leonard waves to fans before an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Jan. 9, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts linebacker Darius Leonard was absent from Day 1 of mandatory veteran minicamp due to a procedure he had on his back Tuesday.

Head Coach Frank Reich said Tuesday that the All-Pro linebacker will miss some time during training camp.

“I don’t know the exact timetable on the return, but, in my mind, I’m just saying, as long as he’s ready for the regular season, you know?” Reich said. “Would it be good for him to play in the preseason? Sure, but if that doesn’t happen, I’m not worried about it.”

Reich said Leonard noticed an issue with his back in the early months of the offseason, and it eventually progressed to a point that Leonard’s doctors and trainers advised having a procedure done.

“It was more of ‘Let’s get ahead of it, not let it progress further,’” Reich said.  

Leonard confirmed on Twitter that his procedure went well and that his ankle “feels amazing.”

The Colts also are continuing to monitor the Leonard’s lingering ankle injury that required surgery in the 2021 offseason. Reich said that Leonard will not need a second procedure done on his left ankle.

Leonard is entering his fifth season with the Colts. He’s in his second year of a five-year, $98.5 million extension that he signed in August. The deal made the former defensive rookie of the year the highest paid inside linebacker in NFL history.